It is a valuable part of your first impression often forgotten by interviewees. A national survey indicated that despite your years of experience and hard work, your chances of landing that next job can disappear simply due to a weak handshake.

As a job seeker, you have practiced answering possible interviewee questions, focused on the right attire for a strong presentation while preparing for the various possibilities that might come up during your interview, ensuring you are putting your best foot forward. However, often times we forget the simple, but vital elements in our nonverbal communication that has a significant impact on the interview process…the handshake.

The handshake is one element that is unique to every individual. While remembering all the specifics of a person’s handshake uniqueness is unlikely, one thing that interviewers always remember is a weak handshake, or simply not using this form of communication at all when meeting someone for the first time. This first nonverbal cue we receive from a person is vital and can shape our first impression.

Interviewers tend to perceive candidates with a solid handshake as more outgoing and presenting better interpersonal skills in general. Having a good strong handshake and making solid eye contact is a crucial part in presenting yourself as the excellent job candidate your interviewer is seeking.

Tips to improve your handshake

  • Give the potential employer a handshake at the beginning and end of the interview.
  • Make sure your grip is firm, but not too overpowering.
  • Maintain eye contact throughout as well.

When walking into your next interview, stand tall, be confident and let that confidence shine through with your strong handshake as you begin and end your interview. Remembering these small tips might bring you that much closer to your dream job.